Consider this: You’ve just struck up a conversation with someone. Both of you smile and laugh, but the room is loud so you lean in closer so the other person can hear you. But wait — are you imagining things, or did that person just wince and cover her nose?
The association between bad breath and social rejection continues to stand the test of time. In fact, did you know that the ancient Egyptians are thought to have invented breath mints around three thousand years ago? And according to religious scholars, Talmudic law listed bad breath as grounds for divorce.
No one wants to be that person with chronic halitosis, but what if you didn’t realize your bad breath is buzz-killing every social situation you’re in? What if you’re missing the cues people around you are using to clue you in?
Why We Can’t Smell Our Own Halitosis
One of the reasons we fear bad breath in social situations is because we usually can’t self-detect it.
A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association called this the “bad breath paradox.” Researchers found that study participants almost always scored their own bad breath— for better or worse — according to preconceived notions. Even though participants seemed physically capable of detecting their own bad breath, their ideas about how their breath should smell skewed their ability.
Other theories suggest it is a matter of evolution. If we had to smell our own foul breath all the time, our poor brains would be overwhelmed and miss out on detecting other odors more important to our safety and survival.
Whatever the reason, humans just plain stink at noticing our own stink. When bad breath strikes, you can only hope a trusted friend, or even a benevolent stranger, clues you in.
But what if no one steps up? It might be time to take matters into your own hands and pay attention to the clues around you.
Common Clues For Bad Breath
If you suspect you suffer from bad breath, look for these nonverbal cues:
- Leaning out or away
- Touching the nose
- Popping a breath mint
If Bad Breath Persists, It’s Time to Make an Appointment
Most bad breath is only temporary. A good brush and floss usually does the trick. But if you suffer from bad breath more often than not, this might be the sign of a larger issue. Make an appointment at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® so we can help detect and tackle to cause of your bad breath.
About THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®
THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® offers affordable cosmetic and laser dentistry and gentle, compassionate general dental care in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures, complete dental reconstruction and TMJ/Headache management. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover affordable up-to-date dentistry and a team who truly cares at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®.